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Rays talking to Mariners about Nick Franklin

Feb 25, 2014, 6:18 PM EDT

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Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reported Monday that the Mets have been discussing a possible Nick Franklin trade with the Mariners since December’s Winter Meetings, but Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is now hearing from a source that the Rays are also in the Franklin hunt and “actually match up better” with Seattle’s current needs and wants.

Heyman notes that the Rays and Mariners haggled earlier this winter about a David Price deal, which never went through but left the clubs intimately familiar with each others’ minor league systems.

Franklin was a first-round pick in the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft and got ranked a Top 100 prospect by both MLB.com and Baseball America last winter, but he is blocked in Seattle by Robinson Cano at second base and Brad Miller at shortstop. The M’s might as well see what he can fetch for the 22-year-old.

Rubin tweeted this Tuesday in response to Heyman’s report linking the Rays:

  1. colemanjrd - Feb 25, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    Nick Franklin for Jeremy Hellickson? That’s terrible. I know Franklin showed big struggles at the plate last year, but it was his first of full action in the Majors and he’s only 22. Even though he’s blocked at 2nd by Robbie, I’d sure like to see his potential at short. The Mariners have picked wrong in the draft many times – either that or they trade away the decent players that end up making a splash elsewhere. Shin Soo Choo, anyone?

    The mere fact that Tampa is interested in Franklin should be an indication that Seattle might be undervaluing him. And I would say that is the case if we’re so ready to pull the trigger for a former Rookie of the Year, but current 5.17 ERA holding, pitcher.

    • tfbuckfutter - Feb 25, 2014 at 8:54 PM

      You saw that he followed up that ROY season with an almost identical performance in his sophomore outing, right?

      Also, the Rays traded for Heath Bell. So don’t think their interest in a player is proof that the player is worth being interested in. But that’s definitely a good way to run a front office.

      In fact, I think that’s how the old regime in Tampa ran things….”Oh, well if this team is interested than he must be good. We should ask for way more than they are offering.” Which only works if you’re trading with the Mets.

    • Reflex - Feb 25, 2014 at 9:32 PM

      First off, I agree that Hellickson is not a great return. And personally I like Franklin more than Miller and I don’t trust Saegar to repeat either. Too much middle infield depth is a good thing. If nothing else, perhaps try Franklin or Miller in left and see how it plays.

      That said, a deal for a good outfield prospect is not a bad idea, but I don’t know if the Rays match up in that area.

  2. swu32733 - Feb 25, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    Ole Trader Jack is about to get his pocket picked again.

  3. denny65 - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:11 AM

    I think the Ms have (correctly) read the writing on the dugout wall: Brad Miller is the franchise SS of the future. Nick is expendable.

    Although I will miss his “what am I doing here?” look at the plate.

    • Reflex - Feb 26, 2014 at 2:57 AM

      Yeah, at 22 thats a fantastic time to know when a player is the future or not.

  4. joenash72 - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:36 AM

    Do the Rays have any outfield prospects that haven’t been suspended for one reason or another that they could possibly trade us for Nick Franklin?

    Last I remember, they had drafted a couple local Seattle high school guys really high, but I think they got suspended? Something to do with drugs or strippers or ?

    While Hellickson wouldn’t be a bad return for Franklin, would rather get an OF.

  5. baseballidiotseattle - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    The player from Blanchette was suspended indefinitely by the club. The player from Central Kitsap, Drew Vettelson, is fine, and he has progressed nicely through the Rays minor league system. He is a tremendous athlete, good arm, fast enough to play the corners and smart. He was a sandwich pick in 2010. He would be a fair trade for Franklin

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